In a world where our attention spans are getting shorter and we are constantly being bombarded by marketing and advertising, standing out is one of the biggest challenges brands face. For fashion brands, fierce competition for attention is no longer reserved to the high street. Battling for attention in the digital space is the most coveted showroom.
So, what are fashion brands doing in the digital space to engage with audiences to ensure they get more eyeballs on their own brand?
The answer: By combining brand storytelling and technology.
Like other industries, the fashion industry has embraced storytelling. But fashion brands, which have historically rested on traditional and timeless strategies, are now testing the latest technology innovations and putting the consumer at the centre of the story.
Fashion industry consumers engage with brand stories that revolve around how the clothes and fashion products make them feel good and solve real problems. They want to see themselves in the story. It’s why many fashion brands have been pushing the boundaries and experimenting with new technology such as digital fashion, NFTs and virtual spaces through partnerships with gaming, social and metaverse platforms.
In Europe, many fashion brands have had to weather a challenging retail landscape and cope with growing demands for sustainable production. Leading fashion brands like French Connection, Next, Burberry and Zara have embraced storytelling and technology to stay relevant and connect with their audiences. Burberry, for example, has released a digital clothing collection “for the modern explorer” in the video game Minecraft, as shown on their Instagram channel below.
How is it all possible in the global, remote work world? They strengthen their digital presence, renew focus on brand positioning and improve global team collaboration with the use of platforms like digital asset management. Another great example of how a fashion brand uses digital platforms like social media to tell its brand story is French Connection. In the Instagram post below, they showcase the clothes and fashion products in a way their audience can relate to.
How Fashion Brands Elevate Their Story with Visual Assets
Effective brand positioning and storytelling call for high-quality visuals. As a fashion brand, that often means your studio needs to constantly create a large volume of images for your clothing collections.
Here are some typical scenarios of what this looks like for fashion brands:
- French Connection’s studio needs to produce hundreds of womenswear designs per season. Each item needs to be captured for lookbooks, cut-out for ecommerce shots, and optimised to be used in a wider editorial setting for campaigns and features. Not to mention, SKUs need to be created and logged for each item, too. All of which you could store in a digital asset management platform like PhotoShelter for Brands.
- It’s often the fashion brand’s studio that handles everything from booking models and styling items, to selecting images and retouching them so they are ready for every brand collaborator to use.
- Fashion brands sell their designs directly to customers via physical stores, department store concessions and eCommerce sites, as well as to wholesale business selling to external retail platforms. This means the work the studio produces does double, triple and often quadruple duty for marketing, PR and activation and external retail partners.
The studio bears the heavy creative workload of the fashion brand, which, without the right tools can become unmanageable, slowing down their creative workflow and campaigns output. Does this sound familiar?
How Fashion Brands Can Speed Up Distribution of Visual Assets to Stakeholders
Here’s where digital asset management (DAM) helps. A DAM like PhotoShelter is a powerful cloud storage solution that helps you move away from a physical server to store your images. A DAM can also replace generic and limited digital cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive or Sharepoint–bringing you efficiencies throughout the content production process. Implementing a DAM allows your fashion brand to streamline your creative workflow, controlling image usage and sharing, and metadata tagging through automation.
Whether it’s for marketing, eCommerce, retail, wholesale, photographers or influencers sharing with the media, fashion brands can seamlessly and quickly use PhotoShelter to store, organise, edit, access, manage, and share images from one secure, easy-to-use, centralised Library.
Here’s a look at 5 ways digital asset management can help your fashion brand tell your best stories:
1. Streamline Your Creative Workflows
A DAM like PhotoShelter helps fashion brands to organise and bring new content to life.
Fashion brands can use a DAM to organise images by fashion season, date, designer, or subject. By using image metadata and creating Collections, Galleries and Workspaces within a PhotoShelter library, your team can collaborate, comment, and approve files all in one place. Users can gather images from different galleries and add them to a Workspace, then invite other users to work with those assets—working in one place and in real time. When assets are approved, they can be moved to a shared collection, protecting them from changes.
In PhotoShelter, you can make as many Collections and Galleries as you want. When you organise them in a way that’s useful for you and any common user who might access your Library, assets will become easier to find.
For example, a fashion brand might:
- Create a parent Collection for the Womenswear department
- Then create a sub-Collection for all their accessories and seasons
- Using the Galleries feature in the PhotoShelter library, they create nested Galleries within each accessory Collection dedicated to each type of accessory, such as shoes, handbags, held within that season.
This makes it easier and quicker to locate images and share the entire Collection.
2. Control Thousands of Product Images
Fashion brands that use DAMs like PhotoShelter benefit from the tech power duo of cloud storage and automated metadata which help users find images easier, and keeps them safer.
Without a DAM, you are faced with asking your busy creative studio to find the garment and reshoot if they can’t locate an image, costing thousands and wasting your team’s budget.
With the use of PhotoShelter, metadata gets automatically attached to your images as they get uploaded making your images easier and faster to find.
PhotoShelter AI searches images to automatically identify and tag people (models, influencers, designers), brand marks and logos, text on images, and general objects. The metadata tags are then embedded into the images and PhotoShelter users are able to then use these to perform keyword searches to instantly find relevant images for their needs.
Think of the time you’ll save doing image research and retrieval, and how much time you’ll get back for brainstorming and researching avant-garde concepts you’ll manifest some day!
Also, with a DAM, metadata fields can be customised to include SKUs and GTIN product codes for pinpoint-accurate searching. Meanwhile, your DAM should be able to search for multiple combinations of a rich range of criteria. Creating a metadata policy is key! Here’s some info on how to do exactly that.
In PhotoShelter, you could even use your library as a product information database, or PIM (Production Information Management).
3. Help Your Partners Self-Serve
Fashion brands often need to make their content accessible to a wider audience. With PhotoShelter, you can create public-facing media portals that enable you to deliver metadata-rich content and consistent brand assets quickly – and straight into the hands of customers, contacts and third-party stakeholders.
For example, if there’s an upcoming fashion show to launch a new clothing collection, you can create a PhotoShelter gallery Portal for your press team to download and share assets with the media. Also, you could customise your Portal’s homepage with your logo, colours, and an image to help ensure brand consistency, brand recall, and a more on-brand user experience.
4. Manage Your Brand Through DAM Permissions
Security is also a key factor when it comes to any brand, especially fashion brands, managing their image, products, and reputation. If a brand stores their assets in a server, there’s always a high risk someone could get hold of pre-approved brand materials. With comprehensive visibility and access settings in our DAM, you can customise user permissions and assign the correct access and authority to each person on your team, so they can get on with their creative work.
The use of expiry dates also allows you to manage usage rights more closely. For example, if your creative studio books a model for the day, the standard contract says they have six months to use those images. Once the studio emails those assets over to a marketing company or a blogger, the fashion brand has no control over their use after that point. And, if an agency spots their model in an image published after the agreed time, they’re legally entitled to charge the fashion brand a fee for continued use. So, pre-set expiry of images is a great functionality a DAM like PhotoShelter provides to fashion brands, for peace of mind.
5. Share Your Fashion Brand with The World
Fashion brands often have multiple social media teams as they expand worldwide, and in the fashion industry the social landscape moves fast. Social media pros are always-on creators—storytellers who move at a relentless pace to engage followers with the right content at the right moment. But a DAM can help fashion brands keep up.
Having secure, cloud storage access in a DAM that connects to tools you already use to share content in real time to influencers on social media, so your customers don’t miss out on the latest fashion trends or the launch of a new collection as soon as it’s announced.
Through integrations like Hootsuite, social media teams can browse, search, and access all of their brand assets from their PhotoShelter Library without ever leaving Hootsuite. The typical three-step process of downloading, uploading, and posting is one seamless platform workflow, meaning your social media team can search their PhotoShelter for Brands DAM Library, select content for the new season campaign, and post it entirely from the Hootsuite platform.
Whether you are a fashion brand that sells direct to consumer online, via a physical store or through a retail network, a digital asset management solution like PhotoShelter for Brands can help tell your brand story.
Having a DAM doesn’t just help you control your brand image and centralise your brand’s valuable media – it also gives your teams the smart tools to ease the flow of content, too.
We’re excited to show you how your fashion brand can cut out steps, save time, and open up a world of possibilities for your brand’s biggest moments.